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Ludworth Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Shadforth

In the civil parish of Shadforth.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Durham.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ35584130
Latitude 54.76524° Longitude -1.44851°

Ludworth Tower has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Ruins of tower house. Early C15. (1422 licence to crenellate to Thomas Holden). Thin courses of ochre-coloured limestone, and some magnesian limestone, with sandstone quoins. West elevation: 2 fragments of only surviving wall, to height of 3 storeys with central gap, have 2 roughly- rectangular first-floor window openings, and one on second floor, with dressings removed. East elevation shows rough stone voussoirs over deeply- splayed jambs of these openings; fragments of first-floor fire hood at side of gap, with apparent nook shaft. Fragment of stone spiral stair at north. Remains of barrel-vaulted ground-floor chamber. Fragments formerly identified to south of road now covered over or dispersed. (Listed Building Report)

In 1411 the manor of Ludworth passed into the hands of the Holden family who built the tower and in 1422 license was granted to crenellate the manor. Most of the tower fell in 1890 and all that is left is the tunnel-vaulted basement, the W wall and a fragment of the S wall (Boyle) enclosed by the remains of a small rectangular bank and ditch (VCH, 1905). A fragment of curtain wall remains towards the E. (Surtees). S of the road are the walls of several rooms (Pevsner, 1953). The extent of the remains of the tower and accompanying buildings ... consist only of the W wall 11.2m long, 1.5 m wide and circa 10 m high, with the remains of a newel staircase and several windows, part of the N wall and the barrel vaulted basement, 6.7 m long and 1.8 m high, with a later wall below it. Around the tower are various banks covering fallen walls and foundations but the bank and ditch mentioned by Authority 3 are no longer visible. At NZ 3566 4126 are the roofless buildings referred to by Pevsner, measuring 42.2 m in length, 13.3 m in width and circa 4 m high. Their purpose and date are not known, but they are possibly co-eval with the tower (JHOstridge/22-SEP-1954/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator). (PastScape)

A Durham Palatinate licence to crenellate was granted in 1422 Aug 6 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 02/02/2017 13:45:47

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